KindaSquare#17: A One of A Kind 6.9 on 10.17.1989

Fifteen seconds of fear at 5:09 pm on October 17, 1989 when the Loma Prieta earthquake rocked the San Francisco Bay area. Walking down from the 10 floor of an office building, waiting a long time for a bus to get home, arriving after dark to a mess. It was the days before cell phone lights. I felt my way up the stairs to the third floor (US). Miracle of miracles the phone lines still worked, and I was eventually able to get through to my mother to let her know I was okay. I lived in the Inner Sunset near Golden Gate Park in an area that it turns out had been built on a marshy area. The aftershocks were more than unsettling. I spent that night in the neighbor’s backyard with the rest of the building residents.

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KindaSquare#10: Still the Ones I Love 50 Years Later

When they made them, they broke the mold.

Four of six sisters, Home, c. 1970

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KindaSquare #1 – Kinda Cute Kids, 1969

Waiting for the Parade to Start, 1969, J.P.W. Friederichs

One of my pandemic projects has been going through my dad’s slides and getting them ready to send off to be scanned, which I did on Monday. My dad took a lot of pictures of us growing up and looking at them brings back lovely memories. Just what I needed at the moment. I grew up in a small town in northwestern Minnesota, close to the North Dakota border, population about 8.000. Smalltown America in the 1950s and 1960s was not perfect and certainly not the idealized bucolic place to grow up promoted by many people who look to return to a time that never existed. But it was a good place to grow up. Life was slower. There were school and community activities.  Kids could roam the neighborhood or ride their bikes to the city swimming pool in the summer without adult supervision. Candy at the corner store cast a penny. We knew most of our neighbors and the “neighbor ladies” had coffee outside on summer mornings. It was good to get a glimpse of this former life, to restore a bit of faith in humanity.

Every summer, Crookston held an annual festival. In my day, it was called Pioneer Days. Now it was called Ox Cart Days. The Red River Valley (of the North) was famous huge carts pulled by oxen along the route between St. Paul, Minnesota and Canada. At least one summer, they had a kiddie parade as part of the festivities. I think this shot was taken in 1969, based on the age of my two sisters who are in the photo. Our neighbor Christie is on the left, then my sister Karla and my sister Ruth. I’m not sure about the other girl but I think it is one of the neighbors. Dressing up was always a fun way to spend part of a day. I was 15 at the time, much too old and dignified for a kiddie parade. Here’s to those days, my friends, we thought they’d never end.  (The image is not the best. I took a photo of the slide with my phone before I sent it off to be scanned.)

 

 

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Celebrate Me Home

Home for the Holidays

The last two photographs were taken after both my parents had passed away and there was no home to go home to anymore. I still try to spend Christmas with at least one of my siblings and other family. Family, forever.

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Down on the Farm

Grandpa and his Holsteins

My father grew up on a farm in Northwest Minnesota, near a small town called Foxhome. My grandfather was a grain and dairy farmer and had a herd of holsteins. Grandpa was a tall, handsome man of few words, and he worked hard every day. Life was not easy when you had a house full of  kids and cows that needed milking. He appears to have been hosting a meeting of local dairy farmers. When I was young, I loved to go visit the farm and the cows. Grandpa sold off the herd in late-1960s. My dad took these photos about 1948/1950 when he was home for a college break. He used a camera he had purchased while in the army after World War II.

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Fading Memories

 

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